Miracle on 49th Street by Mike Lupica. Reviewed from ARC; publication date October 2006.
Review by Mary T. (who didn't realize it was a YA book until it was over):
The Plot: A girl gets pregnant by her college sweetheart and goes to London to have the baby. Later, she gets cancer and goes to Boston to get treated. She dies, but leaves her daughter letters. From the letters, the girl learns that her father is a basketball superstar and she contacts him. The daughter (age 12) refuses to have a DNA test, saying that when he believes she is his daughter, she will be his daughter.
The Good: A wonderful book! Anyone who has ever wished that their parent was someone else will love this. It's like the Pretty Woman of kids and parents. It can never happen, unless you believe. You've got to believe. (Which is what the book is all about).
Note: Mary T. is my mom, who is a high school math teacher who does most of her reading in the summer. She picked this up from one of the (many) ARC piles in the house, because it was written by Mike Lupica.